It is no secret that Jacob Zuma’s presidency has led to a collapse of integrity — not only in the government, but even more so within the ANC. President Cyril Ramaphosa has even, ironically, referred to his term as “nine wasted years”, conveniently forgetting that he stood by as deputy president while our country was looted.

Ramaphosa started his presidency promising a “new dawn”, as if the deeply damaging impact of the Zuma years could be swiftly erased. But the ANC is rotten to the core; there is no turning back. And contrary to disciples of Thuma Mina’s doomed gospel, no one man has all the messianic power to reform it.

Since the release of the ANC’s lists for the National Assembly and the provincial legislatures, there has been a public outcry over the inclusion of tainted members such as deputy president David Mabuza and ANC national chair Gwede Mantashe. Other morally bankrupt ANC bigwigs on the list include Bathabile Dlamini; Nomvula Mokonyane; ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula; as well as Zizi Kodwa.

The DA has also received thousands of objections on the ANC lists through our Prison Not Parliament website. We intend to hand deliver these at Luthuli House on Wednesday April 17.

In line with Ramaphosa being in a constant state of “shock” at everything, the ANC was surprised by the public outrage. Of course, they never knew these comrades were unethical or that it would be highly problematic to send them to serve South Africans in parliament. Subsequently, they decided to “listen” to the people and tasked their own integrity commission with examining the inclusion of these names.

This commission was established in 2013 to restore integrity to the organisation — an admission that the party had lost its way. The commission has reportedly found that Mabuza, Mantashe, Dlamini, Mokonyane, Kodwa and others must be excluded from the list.

But guess what? The ANC will do no such thing. It will ignore the recommendations of its own commission and will keep these controversial members on their lists. Stated more brazenly: the ANC will not and does not have the guts, will or capacity to act ethically and in the interest of South Africans. Instead, the once glorious liberation movement has degenerated into a rubbish dump with a bunch of fat, greedy people eating at a trough of corruption on the side. And unlike an actual rubbish dump, there’s no room for recycling here.

It is the very reason Ramaphosa had to include compromised people in his cabinet — he is not in control. The Ace Magashule faction is too powerful, and it has already eaten away the last bit of integrity the ANC had. Magashule’s only comment to the reports was that the ANC leadership will have a “discussion with the integrity commission”.

This will not be a “discussion”, it will be a persuasive instruction to keep the controversial names on the list. The committee is a farce and a pure smokescreen to make it look like the ANC cares about holding its members to account. If the ANC was really serious about fighting corruption and becoming an organisation acting in the interest of all citizens, it would have removed these names before submitting the lists. Now it looks like an afterthought; something they have to do to appease their critics.

South Africans are not stupid and they see through this charade. It is inconceivable that the party will remove its top people from the lists. They have no intention of being honest and they never will be.

Solly Malatsi
DA national spokesperson